Mangaluru: Concreting of Bunts’ Hostel Road – Need to be Dead Serious about Deadlines

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Mangaluru: The stretch of road between Dr Ambedkar circle near Jyoti cinema and the Bunts’ hostel has remained closed for concreting and upgradation work for some time now.

The work was taken up as part of phase II from the second grant of Rs 100 crore from the state government. The Rs 2.19-crore contract was begun on Nov 4. Initially, one-way traffic was allowed from Balmatta direction for about a month but it had to be totally shut down for traffic movement from Dec 4 to allow the surfacing in full steam.

Being the main access for traffic arriving from and proceeding to Udupi, Lal Bagh and KSRTC on the western side and for buses from and to Moodbidri, Karkala and the like on the eastern side, it has always been an arterial thoroughfare in the city.



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Its closure has choked the city’s traffic movement, with areas like K S Rao Road, Kudmal Ranga Rao Road, Mallikatta, Nantur, Kadri and Bendur bearing the brunt of the diverted vehicles. The traffic police are going through harrowing times in maintaining some semblance of a method in the madness.

But the inconvenience apart, on a positive note to some, the whole road has become a paradise and safe haven for parking vehicles. Having a cup of coffee at Hotel Woodlands is also convenient, excepting for the drive-in facility. The vehicles are being conveniently parked on the part of the road which has been concreted and cured.

Any road-related work in the district is known for delays. The reasons proffered are shortage of labour, sand, gravel and aggregate for concrete and many others. By strange coincidence, whenever the road work is taken up at many places, a common spoilsport is the off-season rain. This has often happened in the case of Mani-Mysore highway upgradation work.


The contract terms stipulated a time-frame of six months. But then, as already mentioned, this road being the lifeline of the city, the contractor was asked to complete within two months.

When a project is executed all in a mighty hurry, there could be a risk factor of a compromise on quality. It is only hoped that the experience of the regular potholes and cracks on the surface will now be only a thing of the past.

The district administration and the elected representatives, besides the work contractor, are moving heaven and earth to complete the job as early as possible. Already deadlines have elapsed and now the work is going on a war-footing.

With Feb 16 announced as the final deadline now, will the road be ready in its true sense or for only a decorative, token inauguration?

The deadline could be twenty days away. The concreting work is almost over. The coming days will see the curing process, laying of the median and approaches from either end. The MCC officials have assured that the stretch would be thrown open to regular traffic, positively, on Feb 16.

Yet, its present appearance somehow gives one the impression that this modern, well-laid stretch will be ridden by the same problem that ails other concreted roads in the city – the absence of proper footpaths.

At many points, the road touches or may even have eaten up narrow strips of private and government land and the acquisition process may not have taken place in toto before the work began. Drainage has not been laid as yet. Once the traffic is allowed, it would not be easy to complete the remaining work.

Pessimism aside, a Herculean task lies ahead to have all the works including the aforementioned completed. All said and done, in the final count, real nightmare for the pedestrians seems to be the most assured outcome.

The MCC has to address this issue without fail, and, more importantly, without delay. Citizens’ cooperation in ceding their land in the interest of common good may be the most welcome development

Let’s hope for the best and keep our fingers crossed.

Richard Lasrado – Author’s Archives – Recent Selections:


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